This past monday we discussed making it official policy to use gender neutral language in all areas of MetaBrainz. We agreed to amend our Code of Conduct to that affect, so I’ve created the following PR for this:
it adds the following item to our code of conduct:
Use gender neutral language whenever possible. Unless actually talking about genders or specific people, there is no reason to use gendered language. As we touch older work that is not gender neutral, we should make an effort to make it gender neutral.
The idea is to not have references in our work (code, bug reports, documentation, edit notes, etc) that unnecessarily uses gender. For instance, we may have something as the following in our code:
He first needs to press the purple button; after that she should run away as fast as possible to avoid the coming explosion
(The practice of alternating genders was taught in my writing classes at university; but today it feels very awkward and out of place!) Instead of the above we can write:
The user first needs to press the purple button; after that the user should run away as fast as possible to avoid the coming explosion.
Rather than going on a massive mission to eradicate gendered language from our work, we should make an effort to clean up gendered language when we touch a given work as part of our regular work process. For instance, if someone updates a wiki page for documentation, they should also scan and fix any gendered language in the process.
Let me know if you have questions or comments.